Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM CDT
Art & Design
Sale 129 Lot 180
Alfonso Iannelli (1888-1965)
Park Ridge, Illinois, circa 1938
marked "3G" on underside in paint
27"w x 7"d x 14"h
Jameson, David, Alfonso Iannelli: Modern by Design, Top Five Books, 2013, p. 229
Alfonso Iannelli was born in Andretta, Italy in 1888 but immigrated to the United States as a small child. He spent most of his life in Chicago, working with noteworthy architects, designers and artists. One of his most well-known contributions to Chicago architecture was through his collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright to create sculptures for Midway Gardens. It was there that Iannelli felt he was able to achieve a fusion of sculpture with the geometric forms of architecture. He believed that "the movement of the sculpture must flow from the structure itself."
Alongside his sculptures, Iannelli was a talented designer, producing hundreds of posters for the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles in the earlier years of his career. It is through these posters that we can see his style evolve towards more geometric figures and forms after working on Midway Gardens.
In 1924, Iannelli visited Europe and was introduced to the modern figurative style of Fernand Léger, Oskar Schlemmer and the Bauhaus movement. This experience impacted Iannelli and by the 1930s his sculptures began to evolve into more simplified forms. This plaster maquette created for the sculpture Floating is an example of Iannelli's smoother, simplified representation of the figure.
Sold for $5,625